Monthly Archives: April 2012

1940s Census

About a month ago I saw an article that the US government had recently uploaded all the images from the 1940s census.  With a couple hours of searching I was able to find my grandmother who was only 4 at the time.

She is Frances.  The one labeled “son” despite her having an “F” for female right next to it.  The census taker must have been disgruntled.  If you have the patience to go through sheets of the images it really isn’t that difficult to find people as long as you know where they lived.  Simply go to http://www.stevemorse.org/census/unified.html and select the area you are interested in.  Depending on how big the town is, multiple sets of images will come up.  I was lucky Nana lived in a very small town so I only had to go through about 60 pages.  If your grandmother lived in Brooklyn, sorry.  You can click on the button at the top that says “ED Maps” and try to narrow down which sets of pictures you have to look through.

-Sara

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Free Coffee and Sodas for Everyone!

Since our merger the new corporate office has been notorious for not paying things on time.  This is embarrassing when a company you bought field sampling supplies from calls to say they never got paid.  It’s fun to have to apologize for other people’s mistakes.

Well it suddenly became a “major issue” when people started to notice the coffee and soda supply in our office was dwindling.  We are fortunate enough to have one of those single serve coffee machines with about 12 different choices for flavors of coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.  We also have two fridges in the break room and one of them is filled with pretty much every soda available (except Cherry Lemon Sundrop!).  People in this office live off of this stuff.  I see certain people crack open a soda first thing in the morning (the thought of which makes my teeth hurt).  I see other people drink 5-6 cups of coffee a day.  They look like the girl from Signs with all the different coffee cups around their cubicle.

Then the rumor started spreading that corporate hadn’t paid the last beverage bill so our supplier hadn’t come back.  When I heard this I have to admit that I got excited.  It is fascinating to see people lose it over trivial things like free access to coffee.  Although I know I was guilty of it all through college: YOU SAID FREE FOOD IF WE CAME TO THIS CLUB MEETING.  A BAG OF CHIPS IS NOT FREE FOOD.  I bring my own tea in the morning and only have one cup of coffee in the afternoon so I knew I wouldn’t be the one to break.  As we got down to only the most hated flavors of french vanilla and hazelnut coffee, the vice president exclaimed “I’ll go buy the coffee!  Just tell me where I can get it and I’ll go buy it!”

Unfortunately before anyone could get into too piss poor of a mood and realize their unhealthy dependence on free beverages, the supplier showed up.  It was the best mood I have ever seen the whole office in.

-Sara

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Esquire Tavern

On Saturday before dinner in San Antonio, we stopped at the Esquire Tavern for a quick drink.  It is considered the oldest bar on the River Walk (since 1933) and has the longest bar in Texas or something like that – over 100 feet long.

They had a lot of fancy cocktails with liquor names I had never heard of before, which everyone tried except for pregnant Mae and me.  I had to stand in solidarity with my sister so I had an iced tea.  Also I didn’t want to fall asleep before dinner.  The guy that served the cocktails had the most ridiculous mustache which I think qualified him to serve such hipster drinks.

-Sara

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San Antonio

San Antonio is about a 4.5 hour drive away, which isn’t bad considering we used to drive between Atlanta and Raleigh all of the time.  There are unfortunately not as many billboards on I-35 which makes the possibility of playing the alphabet game minimal.  My dad used to manage to kick all of our asses in that game despite the fact that he was the one driving.  I do appreciate our parents not letting us win at games although that was probably never a possibility growing up with my mom who would threaten to stop playing Monopoly if we were giggling too much because we “weren’t taking the game seriously”.

We arrived late Friday night and promptly fell asleep at our hotel.  Those black out curtains are very disorienting when you wake up in the morning.  Most of Saturday was spent setting up for and throwing the baby shower.  Mae got a lot of cute baby things including a blanket crocheted by her mother that I wanted to wrap myself in.  That afternoon we went down to the River Walk in downtown.  This is very close to the hotel we stayed in for the wedding 5 years ago and I had forgotten how nice the area is.

The River Walk is an extensive set of paths that run along the San Antonio River.  There are a bunch of restaurants and it can be a little touristy at places but overall is very nice.  Downtown Dallas is like a ghost town compared to this.  We had a late dinner and then went back to the hotel where we accidentally overslept the next morning.  It was those black out curtains I tell you!

-Sara

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(Almost) Five Years

This past weekend we went to San Antonio for a baby shower for two college friends, Mae and Eric.  Actually, the shower was “ladies only” so Taylor and Eric were forced to celebrate elsewhere.  I know they were sad that they missed out on Baby Bingo.  I think they went to a strip club.  As I mentioned on Sunday, the last time we had been to San Antonio was for their wedding in May 2007.  The day after their wedding, the bride’s family was nice enough to host a brunch for the wedding party.  It was here that our first picture as a “couple” was taken, merely 5 days after we decided to start dating.  I dug it out of the Facebook archives to compare to one we took in the exact same spot this past weekend.

Taylor looks like a high schooler in the first picture which is probably why he grew a beard before he started teaching.  Also he is wearing his hat backwards which I’m pretty sure he is opposed to now.  He’ll probably claim he just put it backwards for the picture.  As for me there is the obvious difference.  So much hair!  While I am currently growing it back out I don’t think I will be going to this extreme of a length.  I also have better posture.  Overall I would say that we definitely look older but not in a bad way.  I probably won’t want to do anymore 5 year comparisons because at some point they probably will become depressing.

-Sara

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Our Little Meerkat

Being on the first floor means Luna can see pretty well into the courtyard but sometimes that view is obstructed by the privacy hedges that they have put in front of our porch.

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-Sara

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Baby Shower Gifts

Taylor and I are in San Antonio this weekend, a place that we haven’t been to since our two friends, Mae and Eric, got married.  We had only been dating for 4 days at that time.  Oh young love.  Now Mae is pregnant and her mom was throwing a baby shower yesterday and I was in charge of games and prizes!  I abhor most shower games so there was no smelling of diapers with melted candy bars inside.  Although I did attend a shower like that recently and said I couldn’t participate because of my peanut allergy (finally a silver lining).

Instead of going out and buying prizes I decided to try and make some gifts.  I hope that they seemed more whimsical  and artisan rather than something a 3 year old would do in their preschool class.  I made these bracelets out of t-shirts (that I bought at Michaels, not old ones – that would be gross).

I also assembled some chocolate oatmeal quick bread mixes.  The chocolate didn’t fit in the jar despite the recipe saying EVERYTHING WOULD FIT.  Lies.  So I had to tie a little bag of chocolate chips to the jar.  I also have never made this bread before so hopefully it tastes good.  I don’t know any of these people so they won’t be able to find me and complain.

-Sara

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Parking Roulette

Having lived in Atlanta before Dallas, we are no strangers to parking garages.  Particularly poorly executed parking garages where there isn’t enough room to drive if a car is going in the other direction.  There are many people in our apartment complex that love to drive 30 mph around the corners of the parking garage so it is a bit like Russian roulette every time you are trying to park.  One time a woman just backed into Taylor.  She wasn’t even in a parking spot.  She was sitting idle in the middle of the garage waiting for someone to come out.  I guess she changed her mind because she just started backing up.  Taylor didn’t find the horn in time and she dinged the front of the car.  I got out to look (it was barely a scratch) and her attempt at an apology? “YOU WERE IN MY BLIND SPOT!”  If that’s true (which it wasn’t) then maybe you should check your blind spots before backing up.

An interesting thing about parking in Dallas is compact car spots.  We saw a couple of them in Atlanta but apparently in Dallas all parking lots and garages have to have a certain percentage of compact car spots.  First of all, these spots are legitimately compact.  We even have trouble fitting our Honda Insight into them.  The issue is that EVERYONE tries to park in them.  What bothers me is when a giant Ford F-150 decides to park in one because he doesn’t want to go up another level and instead takes up parts of the two spaces next to it.  It creates a domino effect that makes everyone look like they parked like an asshole when really it was just the stupid truck.  The thing about the compact spots is that they don’t even enforce it because I’m sure it’s a grey area.  I doubt there is a list out there that states what cars are considered compact and which are not.  Although I assure you that the Ford F-150 is not on the list.  Along with all the SUVs that try to park there too.

-Sara

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Weinberger’s Deli

Last Thursday we went to Grapevine to meet up with Taylor’s dad who was at a conference.  I looked up restaurants in Grapevine (since we never have been) on Yelp for recommendations.  Amongst all of these fancy places, a deli was listed at the number 3 best restaurant in Grapevine.  Number 1 was a super fancy steak place with entrees around $50.  So I knew this deli had to be good.

Weinberger’s Deli was in downtown Grapevine which is about 3 blocks long.  There were over 150 sandwiches to choose from which was slightly overwhelming.  Taylor selected the “Queen of Hearts” which included mozzarella, artichoke hearts, roasted red and banana pepper mix, olive oil, fresh crushed red pepper, roasted garlic cloves, black pepper, and sauteed mushroom.

As you can see, it was a little oily but Taylor ate the whole thing.  I got the Dagwood which included American cheese, lettuce, ham, muenster cheese, turkey, onions, Swiss cheese, roast beef, mayo, and tomato.

Taylor’s dad got a sandwich special that had brisket on it since we hadn’t taken him to get any barbeque during his visit (not that I truly think of Texas barbeque as barbeque – where is the pulled pork with vinegar sauce?!).  Despite having so many choices all of the ingredients were super fresh.  If it wasn’t so far away (near the airport) I think Taylor and I would go there more often.

-Sara

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Arlington Archosaur

Last Friday night Taylor and I were waiting for our sandwiches to be made at this deli in Grapevine.  Along the wall they had a table with a bunch of local business cards and advertisements.  On it I saw a small piece of paper that said in giant letters

Diggers Needed for the Arlington Archosaur Site

I literally did a double-take because the title just seemed so preposterous.  It turns out there is a fossil site in Arlington (just outside of Dallas) that was discovered back in 2003 by some UT Arlington students.  To this day they are still excavating and “adult volunteers (are) needed to help with the excavation of Arlington’s 1st dino and prehistoric croc”.  This is awesome.  I don’t even have a huge interest in dinosaurs but how many opportunities do you have to help take part in an excavation?  I am signing up on the Facebook group (super official) so that I can be notified of the next dig day.  I imagine it will be like that beginning scene in Jurassic Park where the guy is at the dig site and scares the annoying kid with the Velociraptor talon.

-Sara

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